- Born: Abt 1248
- Marriage (1): Robert [II] FitzPayn
- Died: After 1318
I note that Complete Peerage, 5 (1926): 448-451 (sub Fitzpayn) identifies Isabel, wife of Robert Fitz Payn, 1st Lord Fitzpayn, as the "sister and co-heiress of Sir Richard de Clifford, and daughter of Sir John de Clifford, Knt., both of Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire." Isabel's alleged father is the same Sir John de Clifford, Knt. that married Margery, widow of Nicholas de Criol. Yet Isabel Fitz Payn is not mentioned in Margery de Criol's rather detailed will. So what is the evidence of Isabel Fitz Payn's parentage? Or, that Isabel Fitz Payn was the co-heiress of Sir Richard de Clifford?
Checking the documentation, we find that Complete Peerage cites no evidence at all. All it says is that Richard son and heir of John de Clifford granted the reversion of the manor of Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire in 1303 to Thomas de Berkeley and his heirs, and that Thomas de Berkeley in turn conveyed the manor in 1305 to Robert Fitz Payn and Isabel his wife and the heirs of the body of Robert. A similar statement of this information is given in VCH Gloucester at the following weblink:
Nowhere is Isabel, wife of Robert Fitz Payn, identified as the daughter of Sir John de Clifford, nor is she anywhere styled the sister and co-heiress of Sir Richard de Clifford. Rather, it is clear from other records that Richard de Clifford was in financial trouble at the time of this conveyance, he having a wife, Sarah, and four children, and the conveyance of the manor of Frampton on Severn was a bona fide sale. In fact, Berkeley Castle Muniments clearly states that Thomas de Berkeley PURCHASED the manor of Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire from Richard de Clifford. In any case, Isabel wife of Robert Fitz Payn certainly did not inherit this manor from Richard de Clifford, nor from Richard's father, Sir John de Clifford.
Fortunately, the same documents cited by Complete Peerage as well as several others not included by Complete Peerage are abstracted in records pertaining to the manor of Frampton on Severn found in the Berkeley Castle Muniments. I've copied all these records below.
Reviewing these records, I see that Margery, widow of Sir John de Clifford, is identified as Richard de Clifford's mother in one document. So, it would appear that Margery, widow of Nicholas de Criol, was Richard de Clifford's mother.
Other records already cited show that Richard de Clifford was living as late as 1313, when he settled Clifford family property on his mother, Margery de Criol, and his sister, Elizabeth Pabenham, and his niece, Margery Hereward. Thus, if anyone was Richard de Clifford's heirs, it would either have been one of his four children living in 1303, or, if his children predeceased him, it would possibly his sister, Elizabeth Pabenham, and his niece, Margery Hereward.
So I ask where is the evidence that Isabel, wife of Robert FitzPayn, was a Clifford? As far as I can see, there is none. And, if there is no evidence, the Clifford parentage for Isabel Fitz Payn must be removed.
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah 1
Isabel married Robert [II] FitzPayn, son of Robert [I] FitzPayn and Roberge. (Robert [II] FitzPayn was born about 1254-1255 2 and died before 28 Aug 1315 3.)